Origin's Newest "On the House" Promotion Is SimCity 2000

Subject: General Tech | December 9, 2014 - 04:46 PM |
Tagged: ea, origin, on the house, SimCity, simcity 2000

Origin, EA's digital distribution platform, occasionally runs a promotion that is called “On the House”. The best way to think of it is an abrupt, 100%-off sale. If you “purchase” the free game before they put a price tag back on it, then it is yours to keep. Today, the promotion has been applied to SimCity 2000. Log in to the Origin Store and add it to your catalog.

ea-simcity2000-screenshot.jpg

EA is using money hacks...?

On a related topic, can you believe that SimCity 2000 is just a few months away from its 20th birthday? Some believe that it is the best of the series, although I have never played it. This is one of the many titles that I overlooked, jumping from the original SimCity (Super Nintendo, rented a few times) up to SimCity 3000: Unlimited, which I played until SimCity (2013) launched. Ironically, I received a free copy of SimCity 4 because of the launch issues, so I now have everything from SimCity 2000, onward.

SimCity 2000 is currently free, but will go back up to its regular price at any time.

Source: Origin

Wing Commander 3 Is "On the House" (Free).

Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2014 - 08:35 PM |
Tagged: origin, on the house, free, free games

Origin, with its On the House program, has been releasing games for free, to promote their distribution platform. This time, they dug deep in the back catalog and pulled out Wing Command 3: Heart of the Tiger. This DOS-era game is the last of the three focused on "The Confederation" versus "The Kilrathi". It was also the first to use "full motion video", headlined by Mark Hamill, rather than animated cutscenes. "On the House" makes it free forever, if you declare your interest before the promotion ends.

origin-wing-commander-on-house-not-sure-if.jpg

Not sure if free...
... or Fry from Futurama.

It is also available at Good Old Games, for $5.99, but it does go on sale from time to time. At the very least, it is probably worth picking it up on Origin and, if you like it, pick up the DRM-free version at GoG.com for safe archival.

And if you don't like it? Well, you're not out much, are you?

Source: Origin

Origin wants to know if you will love them now

Subject: General Tech | June 20, 2014 - 02:03 PM |
Tagged: origin, titanfall, free

[H]ard|OCP spotted a brand new feature on Origin called Game Time, which allows you to play a full version of a game for a limited time.  They are launching this feature with 48 hours of Titanfall, if you plan on playing make sure to clean up your drive as it is almost 50GB.  The clock starts to tick from the moment you first launch the game; from that point you have 2 days of access whether you play or not.  This is perhaps a little better than Steam free weekends for those with slow connections as your download time doesn't count against you.  Hop on for some Titan on Pilot action this weekend as The Fragging Frogs are likely to take advantage of this

Titanfall_blog_header_580x201.jpg

"It’s Game Time! This is a brand new program on Origin: it’s free time with full games. Origin Game Time isn’t a demo, it’s the full game playable for free for as long as there’s time on your Game Time clock. And we’re kicking off Origin Game Time with a truly massive experience: Titanfall on PC."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: [H]ard|OCP

The Top 20 PC Games of April, According to Raptr

Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2014 - 04:27 AM |
Tagged: steam, raptr, origin, blizzard

Raptr is a service for PC gamers to adjust graphics settings, earn loyalty rewards, and "powers" AMD's Gaming Evolved app, which adds driver updating and Twitch streaming to the previous list of features. It has a sizable user base, tens of millions internationally, which allows them to rank PC games by popularity. While it is not a perfect sample space, it tracks both Steam and non-Steam games. The leaders might make you say, "LoL, WoW!"

I am fully comfortable with myself after that pun.

Raptr-Most_played_april_2014_v3.jpg

As you can probably guess, League of Legends is the most popular PC title, with 14.5% market share (with respect to time). WoW and Diablo III are almost a tie for second-and-third at 8.56% and 8.53%, respectively. DOTA II is next at 5.81% and The Elder Scrolls Online is fifth, with 3.78% of all game time.

Surprisingly, the tail is pretty long after that. In fact, the entire Top 20 takes up just 63% of play time, with the 21st place and lower, by definition, having less than a 0.73% share. This is a slow decline, leaving room for theoretically fifty games with Skyrim-level popularity. Several games just below the list are probably very close to one another.

I should also note that, since this is based on time, it probably skews toward long and intensive titles. This probably explains Diablo III, MMOs, and Minecraft as those games are played for hours if they are played at all. This really puts Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and, to a lesser extent, Battlefield 4 into perspective, with their series of short rounds.

Off the list since March is Titanfall, Rust, and Path of Exile. The first two are fairly surprising. Titanfall just launched and, it would seem, has not kept its players gaming habitually. Rust, on the other hand, is surprising because it is popular and, to my understanding, typically involves long play sessions.

At the very least, it puts context around Steam vs. Battle.net vs. Wargaming.net vs. Origin.

Source: Raptr

Podcast #289 - Origin PC EOS-17 SLX Gaming Laptop, Mining on a 750Ti, News from MWC and more!

Subject: General Tech | February 27, 2014 - 03:48 PM |
Tagged: x240, video, tegra, podcast, origin, nvidia, MWC, litecoin, Lenovo, Intel, icera, eos 17 slx, dogecoin, bitcoin, atom, amd, 750ti

PC Perspective Podcast #289 - 02/27/2014

Join us this week as we discuss the Origin PC EOS-17 SLX Gaming Laptop, Mining on a 750Ti, News from MWC and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano

 
This podcast is brought to you by Coolermaster, and the CM Storm Pulse-R Gaming Headset!
 
Program length: 1:17:30
  1. Week in Review:
  2. 0:21:48 This podcast is brought to you by Coolermaster, and the CM Storm Pulse-R Gaming Headset
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
  5. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

CES 2014 Podcast Day 4 - EVGA, Origin, Native PCI-E SSDs and more!

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2014 - 02:28 AM |
Tagged: video, sandforce, podcast, plextor, pci-e ssd, origin, Marvell, kingston, evga, adata

CES 2014 Podcast Day 4 - 01/08/14

It's time for podcast fun at CES!  Join us as we talk about the fourth day of the show including exciting announcements from EVGA, Origin, PCI-E SSDs from Kingston, Plextor, and ADATA and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Ken Addison

Program length: 48:41

 

Origin Return Policy Announced

Subject: General Tech | August 20, 2013 - 01:37 AM |
Tagged: origin, steam

EA wants Origin to succeed and they acknowledge some of their decisions hindered the distribution platform. They are fighting an uphill battle against Steam who are entrenched with both time and trust. Several years have passed since users felt Valve was forcing software into our taskbar notification area and, apart from release dates, their word is fairly... not demonized... unless it draws ire from some other fan-base.

It is usually the scrappy underdog to find new angles to compete from.

origin.png

Origin has the advantage of having a large catalog of first-party titles compared to its main competitor. Just announced, any EA game purchased on Origin is eligible for a full refund within the first 24 hours since it, the game, was first launched. This refund policy is limited to seven days after purchase or, if paid during pre-order, seven days after release.

Steam cannot easily compete on this ground. EA products on Origin make up some of the most visible entries. By far, most items purchases on Steam are not developed by Valve and should require intensive negotiations with multiple publishers. Meanwhile, Origin gains good faith with this policy and can suggest similar initiatives to third-parties content distributors as they sign on without any surprise.

After all users would, by then, expect refunds on Origin.

This is an interesting way for Electronic Arts to release control in exchange for revenue. I hope EA will continue to work with customers rather than fight them with horrific DRM and my-way-or-the-highway policies. Often the seduction of monetizing your control outweighs a rational assessment of how much resources you threw at acquiring said control. Consumers will accept you, just as they accept GoG, even if you are clearly interested in finances... just probably not if you treat them, your customers or potential customers, like enemies. I have said this before.

This is a good move along those lines. Work with your customers and more should come.

Source: Origin

EA and Origin Humble Donates a Bundle of Games

Subject: General Tech | August 14, 2013 - 05:20 PM |
Tagged: humble bundle, ea, origin

Humble Bundle have already sold a quarter million of this collection, but Electronic Arts (EA) will not see a dime of it. The Humble Origin Bundle allows donors, of at least $1, access to Dead Space, Burnout Paradise (Ultimate Box), Crysis 2 (Maximum Edition), Mirror's Edge, Dead Space 3, and Medal of Honor. A donation exceeding the average, currently $4.55, also grants access to Battlefield 3 and The Sims 3 (Starter Pack).

origin.png

I say donation, as opposed to sale, because EA has declined to receive any proceeds. Any contribution you make can only be divided between Humble Bundle Inc and five charities: Human Rights Campaign, Watsi, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, American Cancer Society, and the American Red Cross.

Lastly, while all of these game will be available on Origin, certain titles will also receive Steam keys. As far as I can tell, this means any title available on Steam will receive a key for that platform.

I only have two comments: good on EA and play Mirror's Edge.

Tagged: steam, origin, ea

What do they want Origin to be?

GamesIndustry International conducted an interview with EA's Executive Vice President, Andrew Wilson, during this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 2013). Wilson was on the team which originally designed Origin before marketing decided to write off all DOS-era nostalgia they once held with PC gamers through recycling an old web address.

The service, itself, has also changed since the original project.

'"Over the years ... there've been some permutations of that vision that have manifested as part of Origin," Wilson said. "I think what we've done is taken a step back and said 'Wow, we've actually done some really cool things with Origin.' It is by no means perfect, but we've done some pretty cool things. As you say, the plumbing is there. What can we do now to really think about Origin in the next generation?"

Fans of Sim City, who faithfully pre-ordered, will likely argue that Origin does not have enough sewage treatment at the end of their plumbing and the out-flow defecated all over their experience. A good service can be built atop the foundations of Origin; but, I have little confidence in their ability to realize that potential.

Wilson, on the other hand, believes they now "get it".

One assertion deals with customers who purchase more than one game. He argues that multiple update and online services are required and that is a barrier for users who desire a second, third, or hundredth purchase thereafter. The belief is that Origin can create a single experience for users and remove that barrier to inhibit a user's purchase. In practice, Origin ends up being a bigger hurdle than a single-game's service. It washes a bad faith over their entire library and fails to justify itself: games, such as Sim City, update on their own and old titles still have their online services taken offline.

What it comes down to is lack of focus. Wilson believes development of Origin was too focused on the transaction, and that lead to bad faith, presumably because customers would smell the disingenuous salesman. Good Old Games (GOG), on the other hand, successfully focused on the transaction. The difference? GOG gets out of your way immediately after the transaction, leaving you with just the game plus its bonus pack-ins you ordered, not DRM and a redundant social network.

Steam is heavily focused as a service and that is where EA desires Origin to be. The problem? Valve has set a high bar for EA to contend with. Steam has built customer faith consistently, albeit not perfectly, over its life with its user-centric vision. Not only would EA need to be substantially better than Steam, it is fighting with a severe handicap from their history of shutting down gaming servers and threatening to delicense merchandise if their customers upset them.

A successful Origin will need to carefully consider what it wants to be and strive to win at that goal. While possible, they are still content to handicap themselves and, then, not own the results of their decisions.

Podcast #226 - Dual GTX 690 System from Origin, Intel's new SATA6 controller, Piledriver-based Opeterons and more!

Subject: General Tech | November 8, 2012 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sata6, podcast, piledriver, pcper, origin, opeteron, nvidia, Intel, genesis, corsair, amd, 690

PC Perspective Podcast #226 - 11/08/2012

Join us this week as we talk about a Dual GTX 690 System from Origin, Intel's new SATA6 controller, Piledriver-based Opeterons and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and  Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:21:17

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Join us for the MoH Game Stream!
  2. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:04:30 Corsair Vengeance C70 Case
    2. 0:07:30 ASUS P8Z77 WS Motherboard
    3. 0:12:20 ORIGIN Genesis Dual GTX 690 System
    4. 0:16:40 Silverstone 450 watt SFX Power Supply
  3. 0:19:30 This podcast is brought to you by MSI
  4. News items of interest:
    1. 0:20:25 Intel Crystal Forest Communications Platform
    2. 0:23:30 Google Nexus 10 tablet
    3. 0:27:00 Corsair Hydro H100i and H80i coolers
    4. 0:34:00 New Corsair AXi series power supplies
    5. 0:36:30 Intel DC S3700 Enterprise SSD
    6. 0:46:30 AMD Launches Piledriver based Opteron 6300 chips
    7. 0:51:10 Get Assassin's Creed III for Samsung SSD
    8. 0:52:45 Limited Linux Steam Beta starts
    9. 0:56:15 Zotac AD06 with new AMD APU
    10. 0:58:30 Mouse.. DRM!?
  5. Closing:
    1. Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Corsair Vengence MM200 and MM400 Mouse Mats
      2. Jeremy: Movember and Is this thing on or did it crash? or NewEgg
      3. Josh: Everyone needs a mouse
      4. Allyn: Shure SE315-CL and CBL-M+-K
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!